Hikes

Shepard and Hoover Lakes

(Last Updated On: January 5, 2018)

Hoover Lake is beautiful.

We love the Mirror Lake Highway, and we are always looking for a nice hike in the scorching summer months. So we drove to a familiar trailhead 30 miles up the Mirror Lake Highway from the town of Kamas. This is the trail to Fehr Lake, which we hiked a year or two ago. This time, we were determined to go to a second lake, which is called Shepard Lake and a third lake, which is called Hoover Lake. There is a sign that drastically underestimates the distances to these lakes, so we would rate this hike as strenuous for young families. We’ve got all the details below.

This sign is not accurate. It’s 1.0 mile from Fehr Lake to Shepard Lake.

First of all, the hike to Fehr Lake is one of our favorites, and very doable for any family. The air is thin, but much cooler as this hike starts at nearly 10,000 feet. Though when we left the valley it was 98 degrees in the middle of July, you’ll notice our boys wearing jackets on this hike, and it was in the low 60s! That’s the main reason we love the Uintahs! After about a half mile on this hike, maybe even less, you come to Fehr Lake. There isn’t a lot of elevation change, though the trail goes up and down a bit, and the lake is set in a beautiful alpine dell. When you reach the lake, follow the trail to the left. (In fact, that is always true, as you’ll see.)

We love the little trail to Fehr Lake.

It drops down into the valley a bit, but it’s so beautiful in the summer.

Mom loves the wildflowers. There are tons all through July!

Fehr Lake is a pretty little lake. It’s a great hike all by itself.

Take the trail to the left that follows the edge of the lake.

The trail continues along the left shore of Fehr Lake before heading up a long and winding boardwalk across a marshy area. The boardwalk keeps your feet dry until you reach the top of the hill. Then the trail continues down to the second lake. We estimate the distance to Shepard Lake at about 1.5 miles from the trailhead, or about a mile from Fehr Lake. The reason this is problematic is that the trail is primarily downhill and very rocky. It was work to get down, and obviously even more work to get back up later. In 2017, which is a notoriously wet year, much of the trail was muddy, and we even had to take few minor detours. Finally, though, we came to a short boardwalk next to two small ponds. At first, we wondered if this was Shepard Lake, but that would be quite a disappointment. In fact, Shepard Lake was farther down the hill, and it was probably three times larger than Fehr Lake! It was also beautiful, and there was a mini waterfall pouring through the trees on the far side. There was also a sign for Shepard’s Lake.

After you walk around Fehr Lake, you will cross this little outlet.

We were very grateful for all the boardwalks because it was really muddy when we were there.

Muddy trails all over the place.

This trail is definitely a little intense for small children.

Our 5 year-old was a real trooper on this hike. The trail is rocky and down all the way. So be prepared for the uphill hike.

We arrived at this little pond and we were tired. But keep going a little further. Shepard Lake is just down the hill.

As you work your way down the hill, you will see Shepard Lake!

We were glad there was a sign so we could confirm where we were.

Shepard Lake was a beautiful spot!

Again, we continued to the left along the shore of the lake. After following the shoreline, head left and the trail begins to climb. We climbed a very small ridge and looked down on the third lake, which is called Hoover Lake. It is less than a quarter of a mile to this third lake, and in fact, from the ridge you can see both lakes. We dropped down into Hoover Lake, which was also signed, and quite a bit larger than Fehr Lake. We went left along the shore for about a quarter of the way around the lake. This took us to 2.1 miles from the trailhead, which made the hike around 4.25 miles. It also took us to a smaller pond covered with lilypads that didn’t have a name.

Choose the left on this hike!

Just a little bit past Shepard Lake you’ll head down the hill to Hoover Lake. It has a sign, too.

We love how clear the water is at these lakes.

Hoover Lake was equally beautiful! The edge was a little muddy so it was harder to get closer to the water.

If you walk to the left around Hoover Lake, you will see a this small pond on your left.

It was a pretty little spot on the trail!

We don’t recommend this hike for kids under 6 years old because of the length and how steep it is. However, if you’re looking for that intermediate hike for your tweens, this is the perfect way to cool off and see three beautiful lakes! And make sure you stop at one of our favorite restaurants in Utah, Hi-Mountain Drug in Kamas.

This hike definitely pushed our children. But we loved seeing them work together to finish.